Many experts are advocating for US school districts to replace standardized tests with presentations, projects and portfolios -- particularly for struggling students. The experts say this approach more accurately reflects what students have learned, but critics worry that replacing exams could weaken education standards.
Few students are using technology effectively in the classroom, according to a recent study by AdvanceED. Researchers say this could be attributed to a few factors, including lack of adequate teacher training and the perception of technology in school culture.
Sixth-grade science teacher Lori Leo describes how she changed her practice to help her students develop their critical-thinking skills. She describes improvements in students' writing and class discussions, and includes links to tools she uses in class.
A privately-owned apartment building is offering subsidized housing to allow teachers who work in Washington, D.C., to live in the city. Officials say most teachers cannot afford to live in the community in which they work.
All elementary- and middle-school teachers in a Nebraska district visit students' homes before the first day of school. Teachers, who conduct visits in pairs, say the goal is to help reduce first-day jitters and answer any questions students and parents may have.
Educators at a Pennsylvania school district have been promoting summer reading by establishing voluntary book clubs that meet in coffee shops, parks and other public venues. Teachers across subjects, coaches and others signed up to lead groups, allowing the district to offer 21 clubs, with the district paying for one free copy of a book per student.
Some officials on the island of Corsica are promoting the daily use of the Corsican language, Corsu, to help strengthen the identity of the Mediterranean island. Students at one school are learning Corsu and French, while city hall offers language lessons to employees.
The Department of Education issued new guidelines about how states and school districts should meet the needs of homeless students. As part of the Every Student Succeeds Act, the guidelines address how homeless students are identified and how schools and social service providers can collaborate to help them.
Brenda Carter, a family and consumer sciences teacher in Texas, offers lessons to students on farming and distribution that include going to grocery stores and growing an organic garden. Carter's middle-school students have learned about composting, gardening and organic cooking, including serving a meal they prepared from the garden for their parents.
In a New York City elementary school, a math teacher is using restorative justice to help students work together and talk through differences. For example, students write positive statements about themselves as mathematicians on index cards that are then arranged on the wall to remind "them that everybody has a voice," math teacher Rajihah Coaxum says.
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